I've just been reading Zusch's comments on his blog about buttons and links and their functions, where he advocates that buttons should execute commands and links should link to content (Links and Other Wrong Controls, scroll to "Link misuse")
I can see the logic in this, and would be happy to apply this principle within a web page. But surely this logic implies doing away with primary (not to mention secondary, etc.) website navigation buttons altogether - seems a bit radical.
Also, doesn't this go against the overwhelming majority of websites which use buttons as their primary and secondary, and often tertiary navigation interaction elements?
Do the proponents of this view seriously advocate that we do away with pretty button menus for navigation in websites?
As an example, we could take the UX homepage. We see three (ignoring the search box) different navigation elements at the top right of the page:
- log in, chat, etc.
- Questions, Tags, etc.
- Ask Question
- is a quasi-link, not underlined unless you rollover it.
- is a quasi-link, not underlined at all, but it changes colour on rollover.
- is a button, but doesn't look much like one (little 3D effect)!
Would the advocates of Zusch's view claim that these links (1. and 2.) are better than buttons for the reasons stated above? Would they ignore the lack of coherence between the two types of links (1. and 2.)? or would they keep the links but improve the coherence?
Finally, would they be happy to sacrifice the aesthetic appeal of buttons for the rather boring look of links?
I'm not beating any ideological drum here. I genuinely see the logic of Zusch's position, but I would like to hear other people's opinions on its consequences.